The solarZero battery comes in a cabinet that also contains the inverter, isolators and energy management computer (most other battery systems have additional boxes and enclosures). The cabinet measures 1650 high, 600 wide, 280mm deep and has a total weight of about 100kg.
The solarZero battery has a nominal capacity of 6.4 kWh with a standard charge rate of 3 kWh and a standard discharge rate for 3 kWh. During a power cut it can discharge up to 3.6 kW of power for short periods.
The solarZero battery has a lifespan of about 10 years. As part of the solarZero service we’ll replace the solarZero battery, as needed, once during the 20-year agreement, at no extra cost to you.
The solarZero battery will automatically power some key circuits in your home when there’s a power cut. Typically those circuits will include your kitchen and lounge so that you have lighting and can use low energy use appliances like your fridge, computers, router and TV. It will not support heavy load circuits like your oven, hot water cylinder or heat pump.
In the event of a power cut it will take a couple of seconds before devices connected to the circuits with solarZero battery backup come back on. These circuits will remain live until the battery reaches a preset minimum level of charge of 10%.
If you had panels and added a solarZero battery at a later date then your panels will not charge until the power is back on. However, if you installed both panels and a solarZero battery in one installation, from about September 2018, and it’s sunny, the solar panels will continue to power the backup circuits and charge the battery.
It is wise to switch off anything you don’t absolutely need to maximise the time remaining for the devices you do need.
If you try to draw too much power at once, the solarZero battery will shut down. If this happens you should switch off some devices and wait for the battery to switch back on.
We’ve programmed the solarZero battery to buy and use power at times that deliver the best rates for you.
It will charge up with grid power during the night when electricity rates are low. It will use this stored electricity to power your home at the start of the day. This will help minimise the amount of electricity you need to buy from the grid during the peak time in the morning when rates are high.
During the day the solarZero battery will charge up with surplus solar power. If required, it will top up with power from the the grid. That stored electricity will be used to power your home during the evening peak when grid rates are high again.
The best time to charge your EV is after the peak period in the evening when the prices go back down again. If you are unsure when this is then 11pm is a good time to start your car charging.
During the summer, running the pool filter pump for 6 hours during the day while the solar is producing, between the peaks, so from 10am to 4pm, and then for a couple of hours before the peak in the morning, from about 4am to 6am, should fit in nicely. In the winter, it is better to run it at night, when the power is cheapest. For about 4 hours for example from 2am to 6am.
No, all our systems are grid tied to give you the best of both worlds - solar plus grid power at wholesale spot prices. Combining solar with solarZero battery storage can provide up to two-thirds of your home’s electricity needs.
Yes, as part of the solarZero service we’ll set up the solarZero battery to do that automatically so you don’t have to do a thing. When solar is unavailable and the solarZero battery needs charging, it will store power from the grid when the rates are low and then use that to power your home when rates are high to save you money.
You’ll be able to check using the solarZero monitoring tool on your mysolarZero dashboard.
We will replace the solarZero battery as necessary. We don’t know the expected life of the solarZero battery that we will be implementing in about 10 years' time. Technology improvements are likely to lead to longer battery lifetimes so it may not need to be replaced at year 20.
The solarZero battery is manufactured by Link Data using Panasonic cells.
The inverter converts solar energy into power that is usable in your home. We use a hybrid inverter which also charges the solarZero battery system from surplus solar energy, or from the grid when required. If the grid goes down, the inverter will continue to supply power from the panels on your roof to critical circuits in your home and to charge the solarZero battery.
It’s installed in the same cabinet as the solarZero battery.
6.4 kWh nominal capacity with a standard charge rate of 3 kWh and a standard discharge rate for 3 kWh. During a power cut it can discharge at up to 3.6 kWh for short periods.
No, it only discharges when scheduled.
Ideally it will be installed in a garage or similar sheltered area but it can be installed outside as long as it is out of direct sunlight. It needs to sit on a suitable concrete pad base.
The output from the battery is converted into 230V AC electricity through an internal inverter so the stored energy can be used in the home.
No maintenance is required. We will replace the battery once during the 20-year agreement, at no extra cost to you.
The solarZero battery complies with strict regulations and has several safety mechanisms to prevent accidental damage. It also operates at extra safe low voltage.
There is no noise during daily operation.
They will be recycled. We currently have arrangements to do so with our partners in China. We are developing options for doing this in NZ.